Industry disruptors celebrate creative economy at GITEX Future Stars

Benji Rogers, Founder, dotBlockchain Media, and PledgeMusic turns up the volume on all the long-term benefits that blockchain technology will bring to musicians and the music industry

As Dubai continues to grow as the entrepreneurial powerhouse of the MENA region, GITEX Future Stars is geared up to set the stage for a surging creative economy. The event will feature a prodigious line-up of creative tech talent from the music, film, fashion, food and fitness industries working to disrupt existing business and service models.

As the creative industry continues to demonstrate a remarkable resilience, it is expected to drive lucrative new opportunities for economic diversification, human capital development and job growth.

Dubai has always provided an unbeatable platform for cultural and creative exchange. GITEX Future Stars continues this tradition by attracting the attendance of the Creative Economy’s most inspired entrepreneurs, investors and enthusiasts, who will be discussing the ways in which technology can be leveraged to transform the creative world.


Benji Rogers

The event will feature Benji Rogers, a British-born, New York-based entrepreneur and technologist and Founder of dotBlockchain Media, PledgeMusic – a direct artist-to-fan model of music distribution, founded 2009, with more than four million users and over 50 thousand artists. In his current role as the CEO and Founder of dotBlockchain Media, Rogers is continuing the spirit of revolutionizing the commercialization and movement of music in the digital economy. The project aims to create a decentralized global registry of music rights through a new music format by leveraging blockchain technology to forge meaningful industry partnerships and overhaul how artists are paid. Straddling the worlds of technology and music, Rogers also advises a range of tech and music companies on how to bridge the divide between their industries and is also an instructor at Berklee College of Music on digital trends in the industry. A dedicated patron of arts and creativity in all its forms, Rogers’ work is rooted in a belief in the democratizing power of the internet.

“Today there is no place, public or private, to go and look up who owns either the writer’s part of the song or the performers under a single roof. This is because record labels, publishers, and performing rights organizations, plus the artists and writers and their organizations, have no common place or format to work from. Technology enables musicians and artists to have more control over their work than ever before and that’s what we are trying to achieve through our work at dotBlockchain Music. It’s exciting to see this side of the creative industries being disrupted as it’s a side of the economy that is deserving of the spotlight at the birth of something this new and groundbreaking,” said Rogers.


Thato Kgatlhanye

In addition to engaging Fireside Chats, GITEX Future Stars will introduce social entrepreneurs and Red Bull Amaphiko alumni, Thato Kgatlhanye, “Innovator of the Year” by Forbes Women Africa in 2016 who has been publicly earmarked by Bill Gates to be one of the entrepreneurs to watch on the African continent  and, Sihle Tshabalala, a man who turned his major life challenges into a positives with technology, and has dedicated his time to giving hope to at-risk individuals though technology education.

Sihle-Tshabalala-CEO-Quirky 30

Sihle Tshabalala

Red Bull Amaphiko’s mission is to give wings to innovators who are using their creativity, talent and energy to make a difference in their communities, and to inspire a broader audience to do the same. The programme comprises various development programmes and tools to help grass-roots social entrepreneurs grow their entrepreneurial skills and their projects to have maximum impact in their communities. Since its inception in South Africa in 2014, the Red Bull Amaphiko program has spread globally through Academies, events, workshops and the online community. The program has already supported over 100 social ventures and is home to more than 350 social projects